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The gas crisis in Bangladesh has emerged as a pressing concern, further intensifying the hardships faced by the population amid soaring prices of essential commodities. An export-oriented industry group has called for a rollback of gas prices to previous levels, emphasizing the need for the government to ensure a consistent and uninterrupted gas supply. State Minister Nasrul Hamid, in a media conference, expressed optimism about meeting the projected gas demand of 6000 MMCFD in 2026. Despite government initiatives to address the gas crisis by 2026, energy sector officials and experts are skeptical about meeting the entire demand, even with increased production and ongoing LNG import initiatives. However, a review of current LNG infrastructure development and gas production initiatives suggests that the supply may not exceed 4000-4500 MMCFD, leading to a potential gas deficit. Moreover, the provision of required dollars for coal, LNG, and liquid fuel imports poses a significant hurdle, and the gas supply crisis could worsen if timely dollar supply is not ensured.
While there might be a marginal increase in gas supply to industries from April 2024 if Petrobangla's existing plans succeed, the chronic gas crisis would remain unresolved, casting a shadow on the prospects of a gas-based economy in Bangladesh. A considerable reduction in the use of natural gas for power generation and an accelerated diversification of alternative energy sources may help bring some comfort.
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